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Fewer children, more diseases

05/10/2001 It seems that the era of global population explosion has come to an end.
Now the countries of the world need to act and stand up against challenges
new demographics

by the "Haaretz" service

After decades in which attempts were made to prevent the explosion
The global population, which resulted from the medical care revolution of the century
The twentieth, the world is facing an unknown crisis: declining birth rates
in speed and a somewhat short lifespan, which may set you back
Progress in human development.

In just one hundred years, the world's population increased fourfold, from 1.7-1.6
Billions of people in 1900 to about six billion in 2000. Spread
This unprecedented demographic was considered a "population problem". Therefore it was established
At the end of the century, a worldwide administrative mechanism, consisting of foundations
and Western aid organizations, institutions and ministries dealing with my affairs
Population in the third world - with the aim of "stabilizing" the world population.
This mechanism adopted an international policy against childbirth and focused on the regions
that their income is low and the birth rates are relatively high.

There are those who think the logic of this crusade to reduce birth rates throughout
The world (and especially among the poorest) has always been problematic in his eyes. so
Either way, the preoccupation with high birth rates and rapid population growth is not
It allowed the international population policy makers to understand the trends
The demographics around the world today, and even less so - to comment on them.
It is likely that these trends will significantly change the profile of the population
the world in the next generation. In fact, the era of the global population explosion
coming to an end

Although, in the foreseeable future global population growth is expected. Just a disaster
The biblical flood will prevent growth in the human population from now until next year
2025. But the rate of growth, as well as its scope, are much lower today than they were
Until a few years ago.

New demographic trends - each of which is remarkably unprecedented
Historically - will shape the world population profile in the next 25 years.
Three of the emerging trends deserve special mention. One is patterns
A birth that over time will lead to a decrease in the number of people living in the sphere
Country. Another trend is the aging of the world population, a process that will happen
Fast and extreme in many companies in the next 25 years. Another trend is
Eruption of crises, wars and serious diseases, also in countries that expect
Life in them is relatively high.

Despite the anxiety caused by the population explosion, it is not at all clear that the forces
The dominant demographics of the next era will better serve the
humanity. These trends will have a profound effect on employment rates
In the world, social safety nets, migration patterns, language and education policy.
The decline in life expectancy bodes ill. In the passing demographic age they treated
For the progress of medicine in times of peace as a matter of course. in the 21st century
It is no longer possible to see it that way.

The population explosion of the twentieth century was a consequence of progress
Medicine and increase in life expectancy. According to estimates, life expectancy increased by
Two or more between 1900 and 2000, from about 30 years to 65 years on average.
Despite the tremendous growth, today the world's population was even greater
By 50% if there were no other demographic changes.

Of all the changes, the most significant is the decrease in the birth rate thanks to
for birth control practices. This is a new phenomenon. She did not exist in society
some kind of human until it started 200 years ago in France, but since then it has spread
persistently According to estimates and forecasts of the US Population Register Office
and the Population Department of the United Nations, between the early fifties of the century
From the twenties to the end of the century, birth rates worldwide decreased by more than 40%

Subreplacement (subreplacment) is a condition in which the existing fertility is absent
equals the number of dead and the population is shrinking. According to estimates,
The birth patterns in 83 countries and regions of the world are below a rate
The turnover. The total number of residents of these countries is estimated at about 2.7
billions, about 44% of the total world population. in the western hemisphere
- Barbados, Cuba, and Guadeloupe are among the Caribbean countries that I teach
Their birth rates are even lower than those in the United States. also in Tunisia,
In Lebanon and Sri Lanka there is a situation of under-turnover.

However, the largest concentration of under-replacement populations is found in the East
Asia. The first non-European society to report birth rates of
Sub-exchange in peacetime was Japan. In the last 40 years there has not been a name
Any significant change. Also Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore
and Taiwan have reported sub-replacement birth rates since at least
The early eighties. The largest sub-substitution population is found
In China, where the government has been working to limit the birth rate for the third decade.

However, a large part of humanity now lives in countries where the birth rate is
Greater than the number of dead, even though there the birth rate is falling rapidly.
The highest birth rates are in sub-Saharan Africa and the region
the Islamic to the north and east of it; In 2000, the population of the regions was
These are 900 million people. But even about this group, the image
of high "traditional" birth patterns is outdated. The revolution has also arrived
opal. In 2000, the total birth rate in North Africa was from the West
The Sahara to Egypt - lower than in the United States in the XNUMXs
the qualifiers. It is even more surprising that a decrease in the birth rate is clearly indicated by some
Sub-Saharan African countries. So, for example, according to estimates, depreciation
The total birth rate in Kenya is almost four births per woman in the 20 years
Recent.

These facts are contrary to many accepted basic assumptions regarding the question,
When and where can a rapid decline in fertility occur. Poverty and ignorance
Literacy (especially among women) is considered an obstacle to a drop in the rate
the birth But the low income rates and illiteracy rates
The higher among women did not prevent the shrinking of the total birth rate
in Bangladesh by more than 50% in the last 25 years. Also religious drivers
Rigidity is seen as a barrier, but in the last 20 years the rate has been cut
The birth rate in Iran is two-thirds, and today the country is on the brink
under turnover.

No one knows for sure what is the cause of the worldwide decline in births.
In the various countries where the process took place, conditions were not met
Common, visible and identifiable early socio-economics.
However, two claims can be made with certainty. First, the general descent
Global at birth reflects dramatic changes in the desired family size
and driven by them. Second, it is time to abandon the assumption of demographers,
Because no country has been modernized without first experimenting with lessons
Low birth and mortality rates.

Unless an unexpected disaster occurs, we can expect the world's population to increase
Significant growth in the next 25 years. According to the projections of the resident registry
The American population by 2025 will number more than 7.8 billion people, almost 30%
more than today.
However, because of the trend of a low birth rate, it seems that in the following generation
There will be a slowdown in population growth. The projected annual rate of growth
The world population in 2025 is just under 0.8%, much less than a rate
The annual birth rate of the late 2s, estimated at XNUMX%

The rate of population growth in the different regions of the world will be uneven
in the next generation The most dramatic increase will be in sub-Saharan Africa,
and then in North Africa and the Middle East. In 2025 there might be people alive
More in Africa than in all the "less developed countries" of the world.

Natural population growth in the more developed countries has, in fact, stopped.
The total increase in the number of people in 2000 in these countries was estimated at 3.3
million people, less than 0.3%. Two-thirds of this increase is due to
from immigration In the next 25 years, the natural increase will increase, according to forecasts
US Census Bureau, only about seven million people in total
The population of the more developed countries.
After 2017, the mortality rate will rise more or less permanently. So,
Only immigration on a wider scale than in the past will be able to prevent a decrease in the number of children
Man.

To prevent a decrease in the population rate, immigration to Europe is needed (incl
Russia) for the long term, the scope of which will be almost double the annual rate
The current one - an average of 1.8 million immigrants per year compared to about a million per year
in the late nineties. Japan, on the other hand, will have to accept an average of almost
350 thousand immigrants per year for the next 50 years.

Europe and Japan will not lack immigration candidates in the coming years. The problem will be
Not supply but demand. Will they choose Western countries facing
Shrinking population to bring in people from outside to stabilize the rates
The population from home? After all, population flows will involve changes
for the long term in the ethnic composition of a country. Already today they are heard throughout
Europe voices of political movements against foreigners. But the inhabited continent
Always by successive historical waves of human beings it has a tradition
and the ability to integrate and assimilate. The situation in Japan is different, as there were none
Significant waves of immigration in the last thousand years, and the public is aware and sensitive
Very much about the Japanese minzuku (race). Thus, despite legal reforms
Japan's immigration, many of the country's residents are fourth generation - still gone
have citizenship. In fact Japan grants citizenship each year to a smaller number
of foreigners than Switzerland.

The world's population will age considerably in the next generation: a life expectancy revolution
Twentieth century life dictates this. The pace of society's aging has also accelerated
in many countries by extremely low birth rates. In 2025 likely
that there will be few places in the world where the populations will be as young as
in previous historical periods. For example, in sub-Saharan Africa there will be
The average age in 2025 is only 20 years. In the rest of the world a phenomenon will change
Aging the structure of national populations. the aging of the population
You will stand out more than anything in the developing countries today. according to the ministry's estimates
For the US Census, the average age in this group of countries is
About 37 today. In 2025 it will be .43 because of the relatively high rates
of birth and immigration (immigrants tend to be young), a population will age
The United States is slower than the rest of the developed world.

Population aging will also occur in less developed areas. Thus in China: between
From 2000 to 2025, the average age there will increase by almost nine years. population
65 years old and older will number almost 200 million. These senior citizens will be
Close to a seventh of the total population in the country. Their treatment will become an issue
Of utmost importance in these circumstances, although for now there is no other system
National pensions. Even with rapid growth in the next 25 years, China still
It will be a poor country in 2025. Dealing with the problem of aging will be without
Provide a huge social and economic problem for this rising power.

In view of the tremendous impact of the global health revolution in the twentieth century,
Citizens around the world expect constant improvement in quality of life and conditions
Medicine in times of peace. However, new trends undermine assumptions
These foundations. More and more people are witnessing withdrawal in health conditions
And death rates increase in times of peace. Severe and prolonged collapses of
Local health conditions in times of peace are no longer a theoretical possibility.

The list of countries where life expectancy is lower today than it was
20 years ago is growing. According to projections from the US Population Register,
In 39 countries, life expectancy will be lower in 2010 than
which was in 1990 the decline in the level of health and shocks in life expectancy
in the contemporary world are not explained by a single set of factors,
but in several syndromes operating at the same time in different parts of the world.

For example, Russia experienced prolonged stagnation and even a decline in life expectancy.
After a rapid decline in mortality after the war in the XNUMXs, they began
Russian death rates rise in the sixties in large groups
in the population. In 1990 the average life expectancy in Russia was like 25
years earlier. But with the fall of the Eastern Bloc in 1991, Russia suffered
From sudden declines in life expectancy, from which she did not fully recover. in 1999
Life expectancy has receded to the level it was 40 years before.

Although many aspects of Russia's ongoing health crisis are unclear,
It seems that lifestyle – for example, heavy smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages –
plays a central role in shortening the lives of Russians. Although Russia is a member
industrialized and its population is educated - its weak public health system,
Aside from indifference in Moscow, progress in the health sector is being harmed.

In sub-Saharan Africa, however, the mortality crises are driven by
Different dynamics: the spread of the AIDS epidemic. In its latest report, the editor
The joint program of the United Nations on AIDS issues, because 2.8 million Beni
A person died of the disease in 1999, 2.2 million of them in sub-Saharan Africa
by herself. Almost 9% of the adult residents in the area are infected with the disease. and we'll see
that the epidemic continues to spread there.

The disease also made a name for itself in one of the most developed countries in Africa -
Botswana. Unlike most of the region, Botswana is largely urban.
The illiteracy rate among its graduates is one of the lowest in Africa
south of the Sahara. For more than a generation, economic growth rates were in it
positive Despite this, the AIDS disease severely affected the country's population
In the last decade, and between 1990 and 2000, life expectancy in the country dropped from 64
According to forecasts for 39, life expectancy will then be 2025 years
only.

What is troubling in the case of Botswana is the speed and drasticness of it
Fixed life expectancy predictions. Back in 1994, demographers estimated
overly optimistic about life expectancy in Botswana in .2000
The sudden corrections raise the question of whether brutal changes are similar
Expect other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and even countries
in other parts of the world. AIDS may not be the only plague capable
to lower the average life expectancy in the countries in the next quarter of a century; before
25 years the HIV virus was not even detected.

Surprisingly, the AIDS disease is not expected to bring about a real change in total
The total population in sub-Saharan Africa. This is to testify to
The great power of high birth rates. However, the mortality patterns are
that will define the quality of life of the residents and limit the potential
their economic and social

In the forecasts for 2025, it should be remembered that many demographic estimates are in the century
The twenty turned out to be wrong. Demographers during the Great Depression, for example, predicted
the emptying of Europe around the sixties of the twentieth century and not
Think of the baby boomers. In the sixties and seventies they were heard
Warnings that the "population explosion" will lead to worldwide hunger, but today
We live in the most prosperous age that humanity has ever seen.

Given the low birth and death rates, the vast majority of people
Those who will live in the world in 2025 have already been born. Only an apocalyptic disaster can change
this. Therefore, the world must act and stand up against demographic challenges
new ones If we want to live in 25 years in a more humane world
From what we know today, we must do everything we can to understand the forces
The current causes of the increase in mortality rates and trying to stop them.
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